Cracks snaked through the vast dry land and an air of lifelessness permeated the air. Everyone felt jarringly weighed down upon entering the Last Repose; some of them even stumbled to the ground. Gravity was more than three times stronger inside!
Well, in truth, gravity was a foreign concept to the world of immortals, and the level of added weight was negligible to immortals. They were able to adapt to the change after some judicious leg stretching.
“According to the celestial emperor, the altars scattered all over the land are entrances to the divine tombs.” Lu Yun scanned an area within five thousand kilometers with the Spectral Eye.
The expedition didn’t stick together, but immediately fanned out and split into smaller teams upon entering the mountain. There was more than one entrance into the tombs in the form of constellations of bloody altars. Each altar could transport five hundred people at most before collapsing. More importantly, everyone had their own agendas here.
Other than the celestial emperor and a handful of other immortals, most were here to dig for the treasures inside the tombs. Although there were many altars in the Last Repose, they were scattered over a great tract of land and their locations constantly shifted. Not even the celestial emperor could readily locate them all.
The space-restriction formation flickering in and out of existence kept immortals from taking flight, even for a low altitude skim, as any potential drops would render them into meat paste.
An eerie power loomed over the land.
Though the entrances were difficult to locate, the celestial emperor had handed out maps detailing the interior of the mausoleum. After all, they were here to slay the demon fetus, it only made sense for him to share that information.
The demon fetus would be born in four days!
“The celestial emperor is still keeping many things to himself.” Qing Yu approached a large footprint and took a closer look. “This footprint is no older than half a year. There’s a giant humanoid creature somewhere in the Last Repose.”
Her tone was grave as she voiced her observations. The footprint was more than a kilometer long with clear swirls and whorls of a foot. It had been created by a ‘person’. According to her speculation, the footprint had been stamped into the earth less than six months ago. A giant form had walked through this area recently!
Strangely enough, there were no other footprints within two hundred and fifty kilometers of their group. Did that mean the humanoid monster was able to traverse two hundred and fifty kilometers with a single step? Or was it hopping about on one foot?
“This isn’t from a human being.” Li Youcai knelt down and closely examined the crisscrossing patterns of the footprint. “This belongs to a god.”
Yueshen had taken control over Li Youcai, but didn’t block off his senses this time. She directly possessed him instead and assumed full control, suppressing his consciousness.
Yueshen had rested in hell for the past three years and her soul had long been restored, as had her memories and even combat arts from her past life. Lu Yun could bring her back to life immediately if she so wished, but she refused and insisted on remaining an immortal ghost.
She would have to depart from hell if she returned to life, since no living souls could reside in the world of the dead. Compared to the world of immortals, Yueshen far preferred hell. Her nine bloodcorpses had transformed into nine imprints and been assimilated into her body. Though she wasn’t at the level of a ghost king, she was close.
By possessing Li Youcai, Yueshen could perfectly conceal her energy as an immortal ghost with his yang energy. She was able to recognize the footprint with all her memories recovered.
“A god? Do you mean a divine spirit?” Lu Yun cocked his head at Yueshen. “Or a divine?”
“Neither a divine nor a spirit… but a god!” Yueshen clarified. “Gods are something completely different from divine spirits.”
Divine spirits were born of nature and tributes offered by living souls after they mastered a certain set of rules. Divine spirits had then created a race through continuous procreation—what everyone knew as the divine race.
Gods were a different story entirely.
“What are... gods then?” Lu Yun asked in surprise. Was she referring to the omnipotent beings spoken of in the legends on Earth? The creator of the world, perhaps? Or something else?
“They’re undefinable and unexplainable… However, I believe I’ve figured out why Ruyi and I died. We discovered the secrets of the gods,” Yueshen said faintly. “And so we died. The divine race and divine spirits were created in the image of the gods. In other words, we should’ve been created by the gods.”
She tilted her head bemusedly. “The dao of sacrificial worship has been around as long as there have been living entities. Living souls prayed to nature in exchange for strength and protection… Thus divine spirits were born.
“Who were these people praying to, and who granted the power gained through rituals? ...the gods!” Yueshen stared fixedly at the large footprints. “These were left behind by a god. They… were once here.”
Lu Yun and Qing Yu exchanged a glance. No wonder the celestial emperor hadn’t said a word about the footprints and their origins. He must already know the truth.
“I can reconstruct the scenario when the footprint was created with my illusions,” the little fox stood up atop Lin Xuan’s head. Silver light suddenly shot out from her baby blue eyes and turned them silver.
The bell on her neck rang with a series of clear tinkles.
A silver ocean emerged above the footprint, its waters projecting a pristine white humanoid monster. Its face was smooth and flat, its features crude like they had been painted on by a child. Its expression, however, was very eerie—seeming to be both a wail and a smile. Its empty eyes brimmed with deep resentment.
It suddenly whipped its head around, its gaze intense and terrifying.
The illusion of the silver ocean shattered.
The little fox’s silver hair stood on end and she went completely stiff, falling from Lin Xuan’s head and bouncing softly on the ground. Neither brother paid her any attention; they were still reeling from the horror of seeing the white monster.
“Are we sure that’s a god and not a ghost?” Lin Yu said with a shudder once he’d finally recovered enough to form a sentence. “That thing was more terrifying than an akasha ghost.”
He bent down and picked the little fox up, then placed her back onto his head.
“That wasn’t a god. ...it was an akasha ghost,” Lu Yun said slowly. “Yueshen, by gods, do you mean akasha ghosts?”
All eyes were on Yueshen, who looked as befuddled as the rest.